The CultureMap Interview

Beauty queen Bobbi Brown talks fall makeup trends, philanthropy and empowerment

Beauty queen Bobbi Brown talks fall makeup trends, philanthropy and empowerment

Natural beauty Bobbi Brown is a professional, well, everything. She is the founder and CEO of the makeup line that bears her name, author of (now) seven books, and the mother of three boys. As such, she understands the importance of keeping it all in perspective.

We spoke to Brown to learn what makes her an ordinary — yet extraordinary — woman.

CultureMap: What's in your purse?

Bobbi Brown: Almonds; a KIND bar; Colgate Wisps; my Prada makeup bag, which usually contains pieces from the lab or new shades that we are testing; Ray-Ban sunglasses; EO Peppermint Spray; a Louis Vuitton wallet; and my Goyard pouch, where I keep all my receipts.  

 “Between long hours at the office, family responsibilities and endless to-do lists, it’s not feasible for women to spend hours in front of the mirror trying to emulate an airbrushed photo,” Brown says. “But it’s very real to feel this kind of pressure.”

CM: Three must-have beauty items?

BB: I never leave home without concealer, pot rouge and mascara.   

CM: Yoga or cardio?

BB: Both. Yoga and spinning or yoga with weights.  

CM: Favorite travel destination?

BB: Any place where I can take a Backroads Bike Tour.

CM: Fall trends you love? 

BB: Bold, matte lips and smoky eyes for holidays.

CM: How did you choose the models for your new book?

BB: All of the women in the book have inspired me in their own special way. They come from all different backgrounds, are uniquely beautiful and have motivating life stories that are truly empowering.

For example, author and motivational speaker Liz Murray’s power to transform her life is amazing. When I read Liz’s book, Breaking Night, I couldn’t put it down. I was so moved by her story of growing up with drug-addicted parents, surviving homelessness and making it to Harvard. Despite the tough experiences Liz was handed in life, she has risen above it all and has made an incredible life for herself empowering other women.

Philanthropist and co-founder of the Feed Foundation, Lauren Bush shows us how the efforts of just one person can really make a difference in the world. With support from the United Nations World Food Programme, her Feed Foundation has given more than 60 million school meals to children living in 62 of the poorest countries around the world.

CM: Whats the key for women (of all ages) to maintain confidence?

BB: It’s important to remember that between long hours at the office, family responsibilities and endless to-do lists, it’s not feasible for women to spend hours in front of the mirror trying to emulate an airbrushed photo. But it’s very real to feel this kind of pressure. 

I believe that beauty comes in all ages, colors, shapes and sizes. It’s not about looking like someone else, or trying to be someone you’re not. It’s about figuring out what works for you, and making the best of what you’ve got. Loving yourself and being who you are is key, and the right makeup can help you get there.

Bobbi Brown
Bobbi Brown is signing copies of her latest book at Neiman Marcus NorthPark October 23. Photo courtesy of Bobbi Brown
Pretty Powerful
Brown chose women who inspire her as models for Pretty Powerful. Photo courtesy of Bobbi Brown